ForeverMissed
Stories

Share a special moment from Susan Marie "Dolly"'s life.

Today

Shared by Ann Koukos on July 19, 2020
Today is nothing special.  It is a Sunday morning, a beautiful summers day and my thoughts went to George, you and Dad.

The world is going through some real challenges now and I believe you would have been quite outspoken about your opinion of them.  It would be fun and enlightening to have a discussion with both you and dad on the issues at hand.  Of course, I would have no expectation of winning the discussion/argument, but regardless, the banter would be delightful.

It is a beautiful summer day and with a little creativity we can enjoy the local beaches.  

Just wanted to say I love you both, the next generation is missing two very special people, but we will do what we can to fill in the gap.
Love, Ann

Con te partiro Dad

Shared by Ann Koukos on April 16, 2020
Sadly, its been many years since it "was time to say good-bye." 

The time we spent together before our final good-bye was short, the years that we were distant were much longer.  You and mom happily filled those years with close family, extended family and friends creating lifetime memories.  

I miss you, the man I knew, the man who warmed his hands over an outside fire at Christmas, the man who loved to take his daughter to the Elks dancing, the funny guy who could swim laps in the pool with such ease and grace.  I miss the man that taught me to ice skate and would shake his head in disbelief when I didn't change the oil in the car.  I remember that man with love and gratitude everyday and am proud to be his daughter.

Love,
Ann



St. Joseph's Day

Shared by Ann Koukos on March 20, 2020
Watching the news this morning with all the reporting on the newest human challenge, the Covid19 virus. New Jersey news casters giving updates and warnings, but before the anchor handed over the spotlight he said something that seemed out of context.  He looked at the women next to him and said "your Italian aren't you"?  I thought, where is this going with this?Italy is sure having its problems handling this virus, but why would he want to divert from the conversation at hand?  To my surprise he said, "Happy St. Joseph's Day, to you and all Italians."    Wow, I thought that recognition of this Italian day of celebration was long gone.
I couldn't help but think about the changes over the years and a  family tradition that  became less and less important. 
Mom, you never forgot, you would always be sure to say "Happy St. Joseph's Day" to Dad. When I was young Dad would get phone calls from family members wishing him "Happy St. Joseph's Day. ' And of course there was the yearly trip to the local or NY bakery to get the special St. Joseph Day's pastry.  So,  let me say, "Happy St. Joseph's Day" to my father and my son.  For the time being I will remember this day for you.
Love, Ann 

Judge "Dolly"

Shared by Ann Koukos on February 11, 2020
Judge Judy would be happy that you are helping in the Courts.  You may not be there physically but boy are you there in spirit.  I can't believe how often your "Dollyisms" or stories from my childhood bring the matter to a resolve.  Silly as it sounds, sometimes I walk out of a negotiation room and smile to myself thinking "thanks Dolly" for the help. 
One of the funniest things was when I suggested that the landlord give the tenant a dollar incentive to move.  I remembered that story from the one you told about "Fat Rose" who lived in your  two family, didn't pay rent and was a horrible tenant.  Even though Dad wasn't happy you offered her $500 to move, a lot of money in those days and out she went.  You were so far ahead of your time, today there is a name for something you thought of so many years ago, "Cash for Keys.". Everyday I realize how far ahead of your time you were. .Everyday I am reminded that Al and I are problem solvers because of you.  I am sure sometimes we seem indifferent because we get to the root of the problem and look for the solution, I have learned overtime some people rather complain and have the problem, not the solution. I don't think I will ever understand that.

Just wanted to say thanks for the DNA, we will pass it on!

Christmas 2019

Shared by Ann Koukos on December 17, 2019
And so this is Christmas, as the song goes.  Forever changing yet always the same.  It has been so many years since I have heard your voice or laugh, but your voice comes alive again in the songs and warm wishes of the holiday season. 
You loved Christmas with all your heart, you loved the magic of time spent with family. I think I understand more now then ever why it was so important to you.  Each year the season renewed the wonder of family that you missed as a little girl.
My brother and his family surrounded you and dad with love as each holiday season came and went.  For that I am eternally grateful.  I was happy to be part of the joy as the years went on.
Merry Christmas to my parents who walk beside me everyday.  I miss each of you with all my heart,
Love, Ann



Mothers Day

Shared by Ann Koukos on May 11, 2019

Happy Mother's Day a day early.  It has been a while since you walked among us, but you are still with us everyday.  Traditionally Mother's Day is a day of  flowers, dinners and Hallmark card tributes, it is different for us now.  We remember you dearly on Mother's Day and every other day of the year by the way we live our lives.  There isn't a day that goes by we aren't reminded of  something we learned from you, not a day without remembering something unique or funny we shared and certainly not a day without missing you.  You were and remain, "the wind beneath our wings."


Love, Ann

April

Shared by Ann Koukos on April 19, 2019

Today marks 16 years since dad is gone, not too long after you joined him.  Soon it will be Easter Sunday announcing, as it does each year, spring time, beautiful flowers and sunny skies.  You are remembered so dearly as the season unfolds and our families celebrate Easter together.   

With love,


Ann  

Master Mechanic

Shared by Ann Koukos on March 31, 2019

Tomorrow is April 1, one ofyour most favorite days of the year, Al's birthday.  So Happy Birthday to my brother, who my mother was so proud of, in all that he did.  Both my brother and his entire family were a source of joy and pride throughout her life.   And Happy Birthday to her other favorite April Birthday boy, my dad. 

Although you and dad were not here for Ian's teen years there is something to be said about living on through family.  Ian attended college for a year but it just wasn't what he wanted, even though his grades were great, everyday he had to attend was a real challenge.  But I insisted that he try.

So the next question was what are you going to do for the rest of your life.  I was surprised by the answer, " I really want to be a mechanic."   I got him an opportunity to spend some time in an auto shop figuring he could see what was involved before he made that decision and I paid for the schooling.  It only made him more positive that he wanted that to be his career.  So this year he spent in automotive training school, not once did he miss, in fact he looked forward to going to class!!  He passed his final test easily and got his first level certificate.  He has one more year which he is truly looking forward too!   I plainly see dad when he talks about mechanics and wanting to help people.

I am reliving a very big part of my childhood, being told, "Don't (Ian he says please don't, dad did not bother with the please) take tools without asking, and be sure to return them to there spot when you're done!"   How could two men who never worked together have the exact same "rule"?  Oh, and it is mind boggling how organized the garage is, a mirror image of the garage at 112 Arlington, South Plainfield.  We put up a shed so everyday yard tools aren't mixed with the mechanic tools.  Just like my dad his friends stop over and he helps them if he can.  He has more to learn but he is just as comfortable and focused about fixing cars as his great grandfather was.  Go figure, there is something to be said for living on through our kids and their kids.  


Happy Birthday---Love, Ann



 

Holidays 2017

Shared by Ann Koukos on November 23, 2017

The 2017 holiday season begins today.  You always enjoyed the family get togethers for Thanksgiving, but let's be real---cooking a turkey dinner, not your favorite.  The best thing about Thanksgiving to you was that Christmas was just around the corner.  Your favorite time of year.

As I walk through Shop Rite and other supermarkets I grin a little when I see the "prepared" turkey dinners.  Common now but not when you were young. You were raising us, running Debele's and renovating a house..  You wanted to be sure we had a traditional Thanksgiving but simply couldn't be everywhere.  Always one to "figure it out." you asked around and found a deli that prepared Thanksgiving dinner. I can remember going to "PicWick" in Plainfield with you and picking up our  Thanksgiving dinner after we closed the store.  So, yes, I grin a little when I see how common it has become for families to get a prepared Thanksgiving Day dinner.  They will never know my mom was way ahead of her time, that can be our little secret.

I miss both of you.  You are always in my thoughts.

Love,

Ann

Little Notebook

Shared by Ann Koukos on April 1, 2017

Today is Al's birthday, tomorrow Dad's, then your own Dad's. Al and Nicki share an Anniversary this month and Terri has a birthday.

How do I remember all these important dates?  I have a little help from a crinkly, old small peice of paper torn from a small pocket pad.  You know, the pad  a mathamatician would envy.   The small note pads that were never far from your reach. Each page filed with "number patterns" you followed religiously.  

But the most important numbers written in your book where the dates "to remember."  You didn't need an IPad or IPhone, it was simple, the only important dates fit on one small page.  The only dates that mattered, family milestones.  You noted the year each of us were born and factored that into your "system".

This one piece of paper is a treasure to me. A small piece of paper that is such a powerful reminder of you. It makes me smile, reminds me of just how determined you were, what was important to you and how you became such an accomplished woman from a challaging childhood. How, as an adult, this dynamic women looked forward to April so she could celebrate all the family milestones, especially that of the men she so loved, her husband and son.

So, Happy Birthday to mom's two favorite guys, Dad and my brother, Al. And Happy Birthday Terri, who mom and dad loved so deeply.  Happy Anniversary to Al and Nicki.  The little notebook is alive and well and still works!

Happy Birthday Mom

Shared by Ann Koukos on February 27, 2017

In a few days your birthday will be here, along with that of your grandson.  I know how much you enjoyed that special connection to him. Happy Birthday to both of you.
 
You are still such a strong and powerful presence in all our lives and gladly will be through the generations.  The energetic and opiniated voice still resonates, the pleasure of sharing a story with you remains, a heated political  discussion includes  you in spirit if not in person. Thanks for teaching us to embrace life, to get involved in living, to have strong opinions, to be tolerate of others, kind and gentle to our fellow man.  Thanks for giving us the strenght to take a stand, to make hard decisions based on fact, to take charge when necessary and to have morals and values that we passed on. We are all that we are thanks to your example.  You reminded us, by example, everyday that life is an amazing gift  to be celebrated with each breath.  I can still see yu catching your first fish with your great grandson and the smiles on both of your faces., reminding us again, life continues to amaze us if we allow it too.

This family is growing in leaps and bounds, I have made my contribution on grandkids but Al and Nicki are so far ahead.  I do have a first, Falon just got married.  A small, intimate wedding with just a few people while her man was home on leave.  You would be so proud of her.  She is a teacher, right now helping special needs kids.  She has dad's work ethic during the day a teacher, nights and weekends a swim instructor.  She thinks of you often.  Little Reid Danger Koukos is walking and just over a year old.  I keep all your memories alive with all of them.  It is so important that they use your foundation to build their lives.

I know, if you were physically here, some political things would be fueling you up for a deep and heated discussion.  Like how about our new President and his history with respect of women, one who is comfortable using foul language and not so good on facts?  The disrespect for the war heros would be a real sore spot with you. Then there's the fact that the First Lady posed naked years ago!  Jackie Kennedy she's not.

All I can say is "you can't make this stuff up".  What I wouldn't give to have these discussions with you in person, but, in the alternative, I will have them and smile when I include a "dollyism" to make my point.

My world is missing so many of the people I love, it will never be the same.  

Happy Birthday, till we meet again

Love, 
your daughter, Ann 

Remebering Your Journey Home

Shared by Laura Koukos on January 12, 2017

knowing how much you just love the cold we picked a fine time to scoop you from Florida.  You enjoying the flight and the blizzard we encountered on way home.  Needless to say you here was worth the cold and the miles.  Decorating your place for the holidays to watch you smile was worth it all. Sanka oh Sanka. Enough said.  Having lunch with you in the cafeteria.  Our fashion shows boy could laugh.  Well laugh at me making up your wardrobe.  Looking back I know nothing better than I am happy we spent time with each othrt and enjoying the oddest things and funniest things. Judge Judy.   Miss you both. Thank you for the love that you have shared with me in my life.  Miss you both.  

Today Again

Shared by Ann Koukos on January 11, 2017

The snow is melting and the sun is warming the earth again.  Time has not stood still, the birds are still singing and the ocean waves continue to make their rhythatic sound as water hits the shore.  We have enjoyed another year of holidays and have started putting the Christmas decorations away.

Seems impossible that the years have passed and yet wasn't it only yesterday you left, wasn't it only a few days ago we shared laughs and colorful stories?

I believe deeply that we remain behind to continue the message that started with you.  In my heart I know that and am thankful  Al and I had parents that prepared us to be all things to our family.  Thank you for teaching us strength, compassion and empathy.    We are old fashioned, we just love our family, those with us and those who have gone ahead. We miss you but hold you dear in our everyday life.

Today

Shared by Ann Koukos on May 9, 2016

It was rainy and cold when I put flowers on your resting place for Mother's Day. The day reminded me of how I feel without you, Dad and now George.  You have all left your mark, such incredible people, physically gone  The world was surely a better place with you sharing our lives.

You have some new great-grandchildren, they will never know how much they have missed without you being physically here. They will never share that infecious laugh, hear those stories about life or have a group breakfast at IHOP.  They will however have your guidance.  Nicki, Al and I live by your example everyday and will bring you to them through us.  

Al and Nicki have been a source of strength for me after losing George.  Thier kindness has brought some peace to a difficult situation.  I am thankful for the son your raised and for the wife he chose.

Miss you

Love, Ann 

Happy Birthday Grandma

Shared by Laura Koukos on March 5, 2016

I can remember a story that my mother wrote called "suitcase kids" and you will be happy to know that there is one less in the world.  Made sure that the suitcase was traded for a dresser and a warm cozy bed.   Happy Birthday Grandma.  You are missed daily.  I miss you and hope that you and my father are together sharing your birthday.       Love you ... Love Laurie.... 

 

Just Remembering You

Shared by Laura Koukos on September 30, 2015

During this time - just remembering the both of you.  Forever in our hearts.  
Happy Anniversary.
Love Laurie. 

3 years and Never Forgotten

Shared by Laura Koukos on January 12, 2015

Well, you of all people would understand why I am a day late in writing ..... you always said you just can't make this ___ up!!   Well, since you were so fond of the cold (ha ha) yesterday I had to heat and was a bit busy trying to fix that problem.  I didn't forget you as a matter of fact you were on my mind all day.  I could have only imagined how well that would have went for the service tech in your eyes...  You were a tough cookie and you would have had the heat on a bit faster... but needless to say the heat is working now (so they say).... I love and miss you and know that you spit fire attitude has carried over in someways when it comes to getting things done...   I love and miss you !!  

Hello and love to Pop....

Love Laurie...
Forever missed and never forgotten. 

Merry Christmas

Shared by Ann Koukos on December 24, 2014

The holidays are upon us with all the magic it brings.  Some of the childhood wonder leaves us when we become adults.  Fortunately, that does not happen to the lives touched at Christmas by Susan and Joseph Colantoni.  As their children, we began our understanding of Christmas early on.  So many would join us along the way.

Our childhood Christmas saw  giant trees decorated meticulously with angel hair, the  wooden star made by dad and decorated with lots of lights hanging on our porch, a musical hook up creatred by our dad  with the Christmas music blasting into the street. Pixies were hung on the tree for every family member, preparation of  traditional dinners, midnight mass, presents picked with care, but most of all, a home filled with warmth and love.  

Friends were welcomed, relatives from the City all congragating at our house. 

Christmas also taught us  be charitable to anyone in need.  We picked slips off the tree and bought gifts for needy children, we visited older relatives bringing them meals, donated time and gifts to the Elks and American Legion so the children and veterans could enjoy the holiday.  Dad sold Christmas trees on the corner with Uncle Danny, freezing and warming their hands over a fire set in a metal garbage can.  They did it for extra money, but they were two giving souls and just about broke even because they gave away trees to the families who couldn't afford them!  Maybe not good business men but good men.

Over the years our parents have shared their Christmas feelings and beliefs with so many others.  Their favorite way to explain it was "simply BELIEVE"  like they both did when their childhoods became difficult.  They left their difficult childhood memories behind them and started a life together creating a Christmas legacy to be enjoyed and treasured.

Happy Anniversary - A Bit Late

Shared by Laura Koukos on October 7, 2014

Happy Anniversary - A bit late... Went to visit you and pop this weekend and put flowers down to mark your anniversary..  Miss both of you and always remember you both.  Love You both.. 

Watch over all of us and remember always in our hearts and never forgotten.

Love Laurie 

Milestones

Shared by Ann Koukos on September 25, 2014

September marks another anniversary for you.  Long ago you and dad decided you didn't need gifts and cards to mark the date.  The connection and bond you had marked the day more than any gift or card could.  Over the years you saw many milestones, embracing and enjoying them together.  We learned from you to embrace these times.  Now, as your children, we see life unfolding with all its milestones and are comfortable enjoying and embracing them.  There are newlyweds, new babies, retirements,   job changes, new homes, high school students, driving permits and college graduates.  Life is good if you live it.  

The Path you Set

Shared by Alfred Colantoni on June 7, 2014

Was it a long time ago or just in a short distant past,

or was it yesterday, who knows, the years go so fast

when  a  sweet little girl child was born with golden hair,

the first of the great grandchildren began to appear,

Loving her was simple, she easily captured your heart,

in her first few years she faced so many challenges,

she drew strength from both of you, trusted your love,

How lucky she was to have had your guiding hand,

The years have passed, she is a women now,

graduating with honors and ready to start her career,

She brings with her the lessons you taught her,

She is strong, yet kind, determined yet gentle, fair but firm 

she shares your love of children, something that you held dear,

A teacher, who knew, somehow I think you saw that coming.

I can't think of a better way to honor your memory.






Thinking of you always,


Love 

Ann





 

April

Shared by Ann Koukos on March 31, 2014

April, a month that you truly enjoyed. April wasn't really warm enough for you but it did hold a special place in your heart.

It is the month you  loved celebrating the birthdays of the men you devoted your life too.  It also was  a month that held other special milestones.

April 1st the son you adored and who brought you so much happiness, the joy of your life was born.  April 2nd the man you loved and who made you feel safe, the man who understood you and loved you with all his heart was born.  April 24th brought you a daugther-in-law who would love your son, be his soul mate and unselfishly give of herself to asssure your happiness..  A coupling that gave you grandchildren who adored you,  Then there is Terri's birthday, your beloved granddaugther, you had a special bond with her.  

I have always seen April through your eyes.  A hell of a month.

By the way, Nicki and I would like to suggest that June isn't bad either.

Love,  Ann


 Happy Birthday, Al, Dad, Terri and Happy Anniversary Al and Nicki

Happy Birthday

Shared by Ann Koukos on March 5, 2014

The last few days I spent with Ian creating a "family tree" for his religion class at school.  What fun it was traveling with Ian through our families journey from Italy to Ellis Island and onto life in  New York.

I was most proud of the part of the journey that began with you  and dad meeting, marrying and becoming parents.  It was a joy reliving the wonderful childhood you gave us. The more tidbits and stories I relayed the more Ian wanted to hear. He especially liked the story about the Hot Dog and Sausage wagon.

Finally, he looked at me and said, "Wow, great-grandma was one smart lady", how right he is.  Smart, yes, and so much more.  A teacher who leaves the students well prepared and excited about the future.  

So a very Happy Birthday to a dynamite lady who lived the life she wanted and  by doing so enriched the people she loved.

Always in my heart,

Love, Ann

 

Happy Birthday

Shared by Alfred Colantoni on March 5, 2014

Mom;

You bore me,

You raised me up,

You showed me right from wrong,

You showed me how to deal with life,

You were unselfish in everything you did,

and loved me unconditionally,

You were always there with a word of encourgament,

You always listened and guided me.

You were truly an honorable woman that desrived everyones respect.

Here’s to the best Mom anyone could ever know….Happy Birthday...love al

Happy Birthday 2014

Shared by Laura Koukos on March 5, 2014

Happy Birthday Grandma.. Today in your memory instead of blowing out candles with you I will be lighting a candle in your memory.  Miss you !!   

Love Laurie...  


 

You can't make this stuff up

Shared by Ann Koukos on February 10, 2014

You must be smiling at my most recent "you can't make this stuff up" moment.  I wrote on your site the day of the  second anniversary of your passing.  Somehow forever missed lost it; it was there then it was gone!  Somewhere in cyberspace is a heartfelt message just bouncing around.   So here it goes again.

I don't know why people call the date of passing an anniversary.  I think of the word anniversary and I see couples exchanging cards to mark years together.  Like you and dad did for so many years.  So instead of  the "anniversary"  of your passing how about I say thanks for hanging around.  Although you may not be here physically you are part of our daily life.  

While people rely on memories when someone passes I am thankful that we can enjoy your presence everyday.  From the major life lessons to the smallest we feel you in real time. Al and I learned so much from both of you that it is impossible for a day to go by without mentally discussing something with you.

 I would love to skip the bleach (or gavel as Aunt Nellie used to call it) in the laundry one time but can hear you saying, "always put bleach in."  And for some reason I have a need to have more towels then anyone can possibly use in  a lifetime. When the red light in my car flashes telling me I need gas I still say to myself, dad told you not to let the gas get too low.  Most women see the  Victory Secret tv ad and think they should run right out and get one of the outfits.  All I can think of is what you always said about it, " real women can  be sexy in flannels!"  

So, thanks for hanging around and still being the wind under our wings.

Love,

Ann 

2014 - Two Years Already

Shared by Laura Koukos on January 10, 2014

It has been two years.. but seems like yesterday.  I know that time for somethings does not just fly by and this is one of them.    I miss the fashion shows that you and I had at your place.. what a memory for me!  Your laughter and your smiles were priceless.  It is something that I hold near and dear.  Judge Judy re-runs..I think every family member has watched an episode or ten with you over time.  But that's okay.  Know that you are missed everyday and loved and never forgotten.  Love You Grandma and much  Love to Grandpa...      Love Laurie...

Christmas 2013

Shared by Alfred Colantoni on December 19, 2013

For anyone that did not read my comments about Mom and Dad at Christmas here they are again:


Christmas at my house was a giant production; with my Mom as the production and procurement manager and my Dad as the maintenance man (he would put all the toys together). I did not know at the time that Mom would max out all of their credit to make sure that we always had a great Christmas.

It was never really about the gifts themselves but the thought and time she put into making sure that everyone enjoyed and appreciated what they received. She always told us that we should never take for granted any gifts we receive, that we should never expect  or feel that were are entitled to anything, and that we should always be thankful for the love of family and friends even if there were no gifts. 


Since Mom passed we have a new tradition. We all watch a video her grandson David put together of past Christmases that show Mom and Dad enjoying the holiday.....it never gets old. We all miss you both but treasure the Christmases we spent together.....love from all of us.

Christmas Time of Year 2013

Shared by Laura Koukos on December 7, 2013

Learning the meaning and enjoying the spirit of Christmas has always been something that I attribute to both of you.  The love and spirit that surrounded us as kids was remarkable.  I think my love of Christmas time I owe to both of you!!  Being joyful and the gift of giving is a tradition that I have carried on in both your memory. It is amazing what we see in our lives and the impact that our youth carries to your adult life.  I love and thank you for instilling amazing holidays and just the amount of love that you both shared.  

You both are missed more today then yesterday.  I miss you and love both of you.  Merry Christmas 2013 and thank you for your gift of memories and your love.

With Love Laurie.... 

Christmas 2013

Shared by Ann Koukos on December 6, 2013

Christmas is coming with all it's bright lights, well wishes and gift giving.  Even though the actual day for Christmas 2013 hasn't arrived yet I wanted to thank you for our gift. Only you could deliver a gift that arrives every year automatically.  A gift that will  live within us through the generations.

Thank you for showing us the magic and wonder of Christmas when we were young.  More importantly, thank you for teaching us that as adults we can feel the same magic and wonder through the eyes of our children and grandchildren.  

So, again we "open" this gift and  share the magic of Christmas with you, Dad and all the children around us.

Love,

Ann 

Happy 67th Anniversary

Shared by Laura Koukos on October 2, 2013

Today (a bit late) I went and put the circle of life ring of florals down in honor of your Anniversary of 67 years.  It is amazing to know that you both shared amazing qualities that passed to many generations.  I thank you both for sharing the gift of our times at "Denny's" when we were kids.  I remember those days still now.  We would get little creamers with a tad bit of coffee and boy did we think we were "hot stuff"..   You both taught us that memories are one of the most important things that we take with us in life and to cherish.  In many ways I am greatful as an adult for the things that I have learned from this "FAMILY".  Happy Anniversary to wonderful, loved and very missed grandparents, parents, great-grandparents, aunt-uncle, etc.... you both touched the lives of many people while you were with us.   Thank you for the blessings and know that you are loved and missed with everyday.... loved but never forgotten.... Laurie...

Happy 67th Anniversary!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

Happy Anniversary

Shared by Alfred Colantoni on October 1, 2013

September 14, 2913.

 I know most people would say this year would have been your 67th anniversary, but for us it IS your 67th anniversary ( of course that means I am 65 and not to happy about that).  The life you started together so many years ago is alive and well!

 We know that the greatest gift we can give you is to continue what you started.  I think you would be pleased.  Our families mirror your energy, your love of life, sense of humor and strength.   Each of us enjoy living life, face challenges with strenght, and determination. We are enjoying all the happiness of life unfolding and, because of our roots, are strong enough to meet family challenges with a inner strenght. 


 Thanks for teaching us, through example, to embrace life no matter where it takes us.

Happy Anniversary,

Love,

Ann


 

Just Because I Miss You...

Shared by Laura Koukos on July 30, 2013

It is July 30, 2013... and today you are on my mind.. I miss you today and everyday. I know that you and pop watch over all of us so that we are safe and protected as much as possible. Just wanted you to know that you are remembered and not forgotten.    God give us each an Angel to watch over us with love.  They're always carrying messages to HIM in Heave above.  They warn us during danger.  Encourage us to do what is right; and will always guard and guide us throughout day and night.  God sent them to protect us when crisis comes our ways.  And to aid us with our problems that we encounter in our everyday lives.  Thank You in Heaven for our Guardian Angels (gram and pop) for they are just a token of your love to help us overcome lifes fears and trials.  I could not think of two better angels to have.  I love and miss you both.   Love Laurie....Muah (a kiss from me to you)

Wise words

Shared by Ann Koukos on May 17, 2013


I thought of you both today.  You know what a movie buff George is, one can be at movie overload with him.  But in one of his latest movie favorites I heard a phrase I truly believe, "you die twice, once when you stop breathing and once when no one says your name."  I know both of  you live on and will live on in all of us in so many ways.  

There isn't a moment in the day where something we do or say doesn't remind us of your life and how you lived it. It is just everyday things, so many, that they are part of us..  There are famous people who will live on because of an exceptional talent, but I think I would rather fashion  my life after both of you and live on by being alive through generations because I lived a good life.

All my love,

Ann 

Happy Mother's Day

Shared by Laura Koukos on May 17, 2013

I went and placed flowers for you for Mother's Day... Happy Mother's Day Gram.. Never forgotten...  missed forever.  Love you and miss you.

Hugs and Kisses to you and Pop...  Love Laurie... 

Happy Mother's Day

Shared by Ann Koukos on May 13, 2013

Happy Mother's Day, Mom.   

You are in our thoughts everyday, not as a memory, but as a present and constant part of our lives.  I think my brother said it best in his last writing about your passing. 

Love,

Ann 
 

Happy 86th Birthday

Shared by Laura Koukos on March 5, 2013

Just wanted to wish you a Happy Birthday !!! No matter where you are you are not forgotten..... Sending you a balloon with love...  Instead of you blowing out candles on a cake today I will light one in your honor... 

With Love,, Laurie....


 

New Years Eve memories

Shared by Kristen DeLucca on January 13, 2013
I was remembering Aunt Dolly and Uncle Joe a lot over the holidays and wanted to share my memories of two extraordinary people. Just this past New Years Eve I was remembering how so many of my childhood NYE parties were spent with my cousins in Ocean Twp! My goodness, how we always looked forward to this night. Our parents would go out for the night but we never even noticed or got upset because we knew that Aunt Dolly and Uncle Joe would host the best party for us. An evening full of food (I'm sure mostly junk), fun games, sparkling cider, noise makers and my favorite cousins!!! Man how I miss those days! I also remembered Aunt Dolly's famous fried flounder on Christmas Eve and Uncle Joe's Mickey Mouse pancakes! I can't believe how the time passes so quickly, but glad to be able to hold on to those fond memories. I love and miss you both!

What is Death

Shared by Alfred Colantoni on January 13, 2013

This is how I imagine my Mom and Dad looked at death and how they would want us to view their passing:

What is Death?
Death is nothing at all.
I have only slipped away into the next room.
I am I and you are you.
Whatever we were to each other,
that we still are.

Call me by my old familiar name.
Speak to me in the easy way
which you always used.
Put no difference in your tone.
Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow.

Laugh as we always laughed
at the little jokes we enjoyed together.
Play, smile, think of me, pray for me.
Let my name be ever the household word
that it always was.
Let it be spoken without affect,
without the trace of a shadow on it.

Life means all that it ever meant.
It is the same that it ever was.
There is absolutely unbroken continuity.
Why should I be out of mind
because I am out of sight?

I am waiting for you,
for an interval,
somewhere very near,
just around the corner.

All is well.

So don't worry be happy............

In Loving Memory

Shared by Laura Koukos on January 11, 2013

There are truly no words that could describe how much you are missed.  Over the holidays I realized that I hold many of the traditions that I learned from you and grandpa - I proudly displayed my pixies, and had the traditional dinners.  I need you to know that you did have an impact on my life and I love you for that.  

Today I went and placed flowers for you in your memory and in your honor.  It felt good to talk to you and just be there and tell you that "I love you".  I miss you... Know that I sent you a balloon in hopes that it reaches you... It is so hard to believe that it has been a year already that you have been removed from our lives.  

I proudly wear a Butterfly Charm in your honor, an Anchor for Pop on a charm holder...

With love,,,,Your Granddaughter...Laurie....

I love you Pop... 

A "Different Christmas" by Ann Koukos

Shared by Alfred Colantoni on January 11, 2013

Amazing, there were still lots of outdoor Christmas lights, decorations on our Christmas tree and thoughtful gifts underneath.  Santa taking pictures in the mall with stary eyed children and little children listening to songs about reindeer that fly. I watched The  Italian Tenors  preform on their Christmas  DVD the same as they did every year.  Christmas Eve still saw the feast of the Seven Fishes and the traditional  Italian antipasto and pasta dish made it to the Christmas Day dining room table as it did every year.  The Children's Mass at St. Barnabas was simply beautiful with all the traditional Christmas hymns. . No one seemed to notice that it was different  this year.

I knew last year when you weren't able to be at home with family for the holidays that you would not be with us again for Christmas.  This time of year was always the most magical time for you from picking out just the right cards and gifts to deciding what outfits to wear for your traditional Christmas days you spent with the Colantoni crew.  You loved being around all the people coming and going and all the Christmas festivities.  Of course you loved being with the children but more than anything you felt such pride in a son who had acquired the same love you had for the holiday and instilled the same in his children.  You never wanted Al to know the pains you took to be sure whatever you wore showed your holiday spirit, you said it was "girls stuff".  As for me and mine when we put the past behind us you knew I wanted you to be among the festivities.  The holiday time we had was very much like our relationship, a smaller intimate get together.   You were content that I held onto a some of the more traditional Italian customs and loved Christmas and its traditions and passed that onto my children.  You considered yourself lucky that you had left a legacy that combined both ways of celebrating the holidays and children and grandchildren who would continue the way you and dad had envisioned.  
  
     
I know that we all spent a lot of time with you at Magnolia Gardens for the holiday and that the staff there was great.  You understood and realized that you were too fragile not to be under doctor's care.  I knew at the moment you accepted that so readily that you  had  set the course for the next few weeks.   It wasn't that you gave up the will to live but rather that you knew it was okay to hand over the reins to Al and I, your legacy was safe and you could now leave the pain behind and join Dad.  

Leaving is never easy but you helped us understand it was time.  I am sure you knew Christmas would never be the same for us, still a wonderful celebration, but also reminder that we are now fully  responsible to create future memories for our own children and grandchildren.   Al and I have only our memories of you and dad now, there is no living parent to remind us of the bike under the tree or the first baseball bat and small glove, of all the relatives crowded into the house in SP for holiday dinner, or that Christmas musical dad used to wire to play outside.   We will always pause for a moment wishing you were both still here but then let our memories put a smile on our face and continue to teach the next generations about holidays but more so about family.   

When I was a little older I realized Dad was at work for many hours in a day.  I asked you why you think I didn't realize that younger and you told me that you interjected him into as many conversations with Al and I as you could.  By doing that you felt we would feel he was involved with us in what we were doing everyday.  I can remember you telling me dad left two pencils for Al and I sharpened to do our math homework and when I thanked him he had absolutely no idea what I was talking about.   I now realize the importance of all the  little things you introduced us to throughout our lifes and how it helps us remember both you and dad.  There is a laundry list but just to name a few, Christmas Pixies, Disney, The Tenors, Bambi statues, the Madonna Statue, all those elephants, little tiles with each new grandchild's name on them, sun catchers, etc.  I don't think any of us will ever hear someone ask for decaf in a restaurant without it putting a smile on our face, or accidentily turn on the "Judges" without pausing for a moment, and a cool house will always remind us of you. 

I know that today it is one year since you are gone and that this message is mostly about Christmas, but I know in my heart that Christmas is when you decided to leave.  Today marks the day you believed the timing was right.  You lived your life strong and we are all better for it.  


Love,

     Ann 



      


   

  

Christmas Time

Shared by Laura miceli on December 23, 2012

Dear Gram;

This year is the first year without you for the Holidays... I would have already picked out your holiday outfit and we would have had our fashion show.. Decorated your place and how I quess I didn't realize how much that really meant to me until now.  You are missed and not forgotten.  My tree is proudly displayed with PIXIES, BUTTERFLIES, BIRDS, AND OF COURSE AND IN HONOR OF POP A TOOL... I miss both of your dearly.  This holiday seems so different without your spirit and your laughter and love for the holiday... know that I have taken pride in caring onthe traditions of my Pixies and adding the butterflies, birds for Pop, and will contiue to hang them proudly.  I love and miss you both.  On Christmas day I will be setting two balloons free in honor of both of you... the closest to heaven they can get... I lit candles already for both of you.. You are in my heart and the spirit you have instilled in us has carried in our hearts.....know that the holidays without both of you is not the same but also know that your traditions will live on in both your HONOR... LOVE AND MISS YOU BOTH... Merry Christmas,  Love and Miss You Both.. Love your Granddaughter Laurie....  

Numbers by Ann Koukos

Shared by Alfred Colantoni on September 26, 2012

Numbers, how you loved them.  When I was just learning the basic math (catholic school style) it seemed like so much work.  I would watch you work with numbers all the time and think. " why would anyone spend so much time working with numbers if they didn't have to?"  When I asked you why you enjoyed numbers so much you told me that "so many things in life were connected to numbers and that the Criscuolo's had a way with numbers."  At the time I figured it was your way of getting me to learn to enjoy math. 

Little did I know as a kid that you were able to work with numbers and secure a second home that needed a lot of work.  You worked with the numbers until you convinced the bank to give you a  "construction"  mortgage, something that wasn't very common at the time.   To make the whole thing come together you suggested that Stelton Lumber work directly with the bank for release of the construction money in three stages  upon inspections by the bank at each stage. Everything worked out great because you worked with the "numbers." While I know that there was much involved in  developing today's  construction loans I enjoy your little part of it.   Later in years every construction loan I had to explain to a client as a paralegal  would bring a little smile to my face.   But finance was such a small part of what you ment.

 As I grew up I realized more and more what you were trying to teach me.  Numbers are everywhere and have so many meanings.  They define birthdays, holidays and events, wins, loses, and  reminders of life's milestones. Numbers tell us how long we have to finish a test or file our income tax.  An entire world watches "numbers" to see the financial health of their economy. My girlfriend became a grandmother to triplets, now that's a number.   Later in life I realized "playing the numbers" was a different expression with an entirely different meaning.  The Criscuolo's were good at that too.

The number 9/14/2012 recently reminded all of us of two dearly missed parents who would have celebrated their 67th  wedding anniversary this year . Happy Anniversary to our beloved parents, grandparents and great-grandparents from all of us.  There is saddness when we remember  how long dad and you are gone but we find happiness in all the number of Christmases we shared, all the laughts and lifetime of loving memories. 

You were absolutely right mom numbers are a major part of life and the Criscuolo/Colantoni clan is "good" at it.  

Love,

Your Gang   

P.S. Laura is still playing your "number" everyday-  

 

"DOLLY" Double Take - 6 months

Shared by Laura miceli on July 10, 2012

Today I was in Shoprite and a cashier was wearing a name tag "DOLLY" and boy was I shocked to see such a young lady with a faboulous name... She wore it with pride and conviction as you did.  It was nice to see a piece of my favorite gal..

Gram these past 6 months without have been hard.. 

If tears could build a stairway and heartache make a lane, I'd walk the path to heaven and bring you  back again.  Know that I love and miss you .. I hold you forever close to my heart,,,

Love Laurie

Family Update

Shared by Alfred Colantoni on June 28, 2012

We missed seeing you at the games but knew you both were there in spirit.  Colin and Ian made the baseball playoffs!.  I can see dad now with a smile from ear to ear and you mom with a look that says, "of course"..  There was never a doubt in your mind that the "boys" would be just like dad and Al, naturals at sports.  Mom I know how you loved going to Ian's games when you could and he loved seeing you there; he always wanted to do his best for you.  For Ian a look up to the sky before he bats keeps him connected to both of you even if you are not here in person.

I know two things dear to dad's  heart were the veteran's and the Elk's.  Each child has to do community service as part of their school requirement.  To honor dad Ian chose to become an "antler", a junior Elk.  He is working with mostly disabled navy veterans to honor dad's  memory.  Mom I know how you enjoyed the Elk dances when you and Dad were young because they were a way to have all the family togeher, I can still see you, the NJ/NY extedned family and friends taking up two long tables for New Year's Eve at the Elk's in South Plainfield. 

The granddaughters and great-granddaughters miss you in so many ways. They could always go to you no matter what; you were the only person who could always give advice that worked when all else failed (and sometime reverse a parental decision).  They may have not inherited athletic ability but they have been given a blueprint by you of a life well lived.  A life that nurtured family, showed strength, conviction and pride.  

Life is good, Al and I are there for our children and grandchildren in the same way you were there for us.  I believe that the legacy with continue through the generations.

Mom, I know how worried you were about Uncle John.  As we promised he was surrounded by love when he was sick until he joined you.  I am keeping in contact with Jenny (his granddaughter) she knows she can reach out to us if she needs anything.  Losing both her dad and grandfather in such a short time was difficult,  she is grateful to you for all the stories they shared about your always being there for them. 

Last but not least Nicki and I just celebrated our June birthdays.  Mom, when you met Nicki you said she was going to be so important in Al's life, truer words were never spoken.  It has been 40+ years since she joined our crew  (how she survived is still a mystery)  and every year I am reminded how much she brought to our family.  You were right she was a "keeper". 

You are in our thoughts always. The life stories you left behind are being shared and helping others; again, a smart lady who was always looking ahead.

Love, Ann

Just Miss You

Shared by Laura miceli on June 11, 2012

Today marks five months that you earned your wings...  It was strange because today I found myself laughing about you and telling stories about you.  What a smile that brought to my face and the laughs it brought to crowd.. I must say that I am thankful that I have the memories that I do to share.. Miss you and love you... Hi Pop.. glad that you both are together again..   Love Laurie..

Happy Mother's Day

Shared by Alfred Colantoni on May 21, 2012

Most of us are somehow part of the Mother's Day celebration from when we are children.   Mom didn't join in the Mother's Day celebration until my brother and I were born since her own mom passed away when she was  very young.  It didn't matter if mom's gift from us was a  finger paint print or a dozen red roses, each gift was treasured by her.  She enjoyed this day of recognition with all of her heart.  

This is the first year I know how she felt not having that special part of your life to share Mother's Day with------your own mom.  I know that she will always be a part of who we are and  that we will never let her memory fade; however, there is no substitute for giving mom a hug on her special day.   

While I may not be able to hug her this year I hold onto her memory and wish her yet another Happy Mother's Day.

Oh, and a short note to dad--as I promised Grandma Jenny also had flowers for this special day. 

My Love,

Ann

Happy Mother's Day

Shared by Laura miceli on May 14, 2012

Dear Gram;

Happy Mother's Day... you are missed with each and everyday that passes. We love you and thank you for all that you offered to each of our lives. 


Forever Missed, Forever Loved.

Love Laurie...


Hi Pop...we miss and love you.. 

109 Arlington Ave

Shared by Art DiGrazia on March 7, 2012

Dear Ann and Alfred

I was very sorry to hear about your Mom, you haven't heard from me for many years but I always remembered your Mom and Dad they welcomed me like I was apart of your family living across the street I was lucky because I always knew when it was time to swim. it looks like "Dolly" lived a GREAT life and you guys have done a great job in this memorial.

The Old Buckaroo

Art DiGrazia

Our Gift

Shared by Alfred Colantoni on March 5, 2012

Still sharing your birthday even though you are not with us.  I can still hear you saying that you didn't want anything on your birthday and that  you and dad had stopped exchanging gifts so many years ago.  When I asked you both why you told me that you and dad already had the only gift you both ever wanted; you had raised you children to be good people.  And that you were so proud that we had extended the same to our children.  We are varied group for sure, but all connected by the same thread. 

We miss you but are happy to again, on your birthday,  give you the promise our lives will be lived by your teachings and that this  will be passed  on to each generation.  Our upbringing made us easily able to  show compassion for our fellow man, find humor in each day, enjoy a good debate, have strenght of character,  know kindness and most importantly to have love of family.    

So happy birthday.

Ann

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